'I loved this book.' MATT HAIG
If you have anxiety, this book is for you.
If you love someone who is anxious, this book is for you.
I Quit Sugar founder and New York Times bestselling author Sarah Wilson has lived through high anxiety - including bipolar, OCD and several suicide attempts - her whole life. Perhaps like you, she grew tired of seeing anxiety as a disease that must be medicated into submission. Could anxiety be re-sewn, she asked, into a thing of beauty?
So began a seven-year journey to find a more meaningful and helpful take on anxiety. Living out of two suitcases, Sarah travelled the world, meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama, with Oprah's life coach, with major mental health organizations and hundreds of others in a quest to unravel the knotted ball of wool that is the anxious condition. She emerged with the very best philosophy, science and hacks for thriving with the beast.
First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a book with a big heart, paving the way for richer, kinder and wiser conversations about anxiety.
'Probably the best book on living with anxiety that I've ever read.' MARK MANSON, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Journalist Wilson (I Quit Sugar) borrows the title of this uplifting, earnest memoir from a Chinese proverb on the theme of acceptance: using one's anxiety to find purpose, she believes, can make life beautiful. Wilson, one of seven siblings who grew up poor in the Australian bush outside of Canberra, suffered from anxiety for years (as well as from OCD, bipolar disorder, and Hashimoto's, a disease of the thyroid) and here explores the condition from many angles, meandering, as she explains, "through disciplines and between polemic, didactic and memoir." In the opening chapter, Wilson asks the Dalai Lama how to stop the internal "fretty chatter that makes us so nervous" ("There's no use," he says. "Impossible"). Later, she observes that the "correlation between creative contribution... and anxiety is well documented." She offers simple tricks and practices throughout the book to reduce anxiety, including making one's bed every morning and learning to meditate. Wilson also points out that anxiety can have some benefits: anxious folks, for instance, tend to be good planners. Amusing, practical, and filled with delightful asides, this book will appeal to anxiety-prone readers, who will find much to calm them in these pages.